While the joke of the ‘ambulance chasing’ personal injury solicitor firm is an old one, now it seems that some personal injury lawyers are following the ambulance right into the hospital, with new reports emerging that GPs are being encouraged to exaggerate when asked about the nature of claimant’s injuries.
Ironically named accident claim specialist firm Claim Time Solicitors stood accused of exerting pressure upon medical professionals to report that the injuries sustained by claimants was much worse than it actually was. One of the firm’s former employees recently testified at a tribunal that she had been made redundant shortly after she voiced her concerns about her employer’s practice, with another source, a consultant surgeon with the NHS, informing the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that he would no longer carry out medical assessments on clients of Claim Time, as he was growing tired of being told to alter his medical findings.
These new allegations only add fuel to the fire about how far the so-called ‘compensation culture’ has spread in the UK. Whiplash-related claims are seen to be driving this for the most part, as whiplash injuries cannot be proven through medical testing such as X-rays and instead relay solely upon expert testimony from medical professionals.
Insurers say that whiplash claims are costing them a massive £2 billion on an annual basis. This adds around £90 on average to the typical motorist’s premium, as insurance providers pass along their costs to their customers.
Claim Time, a Birmingham-based solicitor firm established by Rizwan Shabir and Yousaf Khan in 2005, features television adverts with British-Asian actors speaking in both Urdu and English. The firm generates so much business volume that it has paid £300,000 to one NHS doctor for assessing its clients over a two-year period.